Leave the M20 at junction 7 and follow the A249 to Sittingbourne. Alternatively, leave the M2 at junction 5 and join the same road (A249). Take the exit (it's the second exit after the M2 junction) from the A249 that is signposted Sittingbourne Industry and turn right at the roundabout at the end of the slip road, following the road towards the Sittingbourne Industrial area. Go straight over two roundabouts and then turn right at the next roundabout. Then proceed straight over two more roundabouts and then turn left at the T-junction. Follow the road and take the second turning on the left and then the first left off of this road into Symmonds Drive. The track is at the bottom of this road. This is not an easy track to find, so leave yourself plenty of time, take a map and be ready to ask for directions! It may also be beneficial to check the web site for the circuit in order to get a more detailed map!
In summary, a track that favours the lightweight drivers but one that always provides some great action. It is great for spectators as you can see the whole circuit from any location which means the drivers are never safe from the watchful eye of the clerk of the course.
Lee Pilcher is the 2000 Lightweight Sprint champion who won the Sprint event at Bayford Meadow in both 1999 and 2000. It is his local circuit and he knows his way round the circuit like the back of his hand. Thanks to Lee for the effort taken in producing this summary.
“It’s time for Bayford, a track that’s liked by some and loathed by others. Personally, I rather like it but that may be because it’s my local track! Anyway, here’s my guide to the circuit.
As you approach turn one it’s very important to get over to the left-hand side of the track. A quick dab on the brakes should slow you down enough and then turn in late, aiming to apex about mid way around the kerb. The kart should drift around the corner, and some correction may be needed. This is probably the fastest part of the track where there’s not a lot of run off area, so you don’t want to get this one wrong!
Hopefully you will have carried plenty of speed through the first corner and now it’s full speed ahead down to turn two. This corner is really made up of 3 separate turns, the first part being the slight right hander which is then followed by the tight right hander and then a slight left on the exit.
The first part should involve turning in early and then aiming for the outside edge of the track so that you are back on line for the tight right hander. The aim for this corner should be to apex late so that you can straight line the left hander and get a good run out of this corner, but watch out for people making lunges down the inside here.
At turn 3 you should be looking to apex about half way around the corner keeping in mind that you are going to need to get back across on the exit to set yourself up for turn 4. Your speed for this corner will need to be sacrificed, and you should exit the corner on the inside/middle of the track, to allow you to get a good run into turn 5 and onto the straight, using all the kerb on the exit.
Turn 6 is an awkward corner that involves sticking to the outside as you enter it and rubbing the brake whist turning. As the corner tightens slow yourself down enough to stay tight to the apex to get a good run into turn 7. Turn 6 tends to invite people to dive down the inside, but this is almost impossible to defend against, it’s often better to fall in behind them and re-overtake them as they slide wide at the apex.
Turn 7 and 8 is just a mater of making the corner as smooth as possible and trying to keep your foot buried.
Try to drift the kart around turn 9 avoiding taking too much kerb as this will upset the karts balance, the kart should then naturally drift to the outside on the exit, and there’s a short straight before you have to brake hard for turn 10.
It’s important to get a good run out of this corner in order to get good speed along the straight, but beware of the tyre wall on the exit, which will punish you if you run wide. There isn’t really any chance of overtaking here, and it’s far safer to wait for the straight.
Using the Kerbs at Bayford generally doesn’t help apart from on the exit of some of the corners. Ones to avoid are the inside kerb at turns 1, 5 and 10 as these all tend to spit the kart back out!
One of the most important things at this track is to try and be smooth and not throw the kart around too much, particularly in the infield section.
And of course if it rains then all this goes straight out the window and its just a matter of trying to face the right way!!!!!”